How Businesses Use Social Media Influencers for Marketing Strategies

There’s no doubt that using social media influencers as part of your marketing strategy is growing increasingly popular. It’s not just mega-influencers and celebrity social media endorsements making waves, either.

Nano and micro-influencers are showing their worth for brands, offering increased reach and engagement into niche audiences. Social media influencers are providing tons of value for brands on Instagram, and TikTok is proving highly valuable for influencer marketing that targets Gen Z audiences. The landscape is evolving rapidly, so here we’ll look at how businesses used social media influencers for marketing strategies that made waves.

Specifically, we’ll take a brief look at the following brands and the impact their social media influencer campaigns had on consumers:

  • McDonald’s and BTS
  • Tiffany & Co. and Rosé of Blackpink
  • Samsung and Style It Pretty Home
  • L’Oréal and TikTok star Falcopunch
  • Brand opportunities with next-gen social media influencers

Influencer marketing hit critical mass last year and is still on the rise, as these stats suggest:

  • Social media influencers have revolutionized how marketing is done. As a matter of fact, the influencer marketing industry is now bigger than print advertising and is expected to be worth over $13.8B in 2021.
  • 96% of marketers say Instagram is their preferred platform for social media influencer
  • 66% of brands expect to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2021.

Over the past month, the online conversation around influencer marketing and social media influencers is very positive at 71% net sentiment on a scale of -100 to 100. The word cloud of top returned emotions reveals how people feel about it and why so many brands are trying to get in on the action.

social-media-influencer-word-cloud

That being the case, let’s jump in and take a look at some brands that are really moving the needle of brand awareness with their social media influencer strategies.

McDonald’s and BTS

In September of last year, McDonald’s announced their collaboration with rapper and songwriter Travis Scott, which would feature Scott’s favorite McDonald’s meal as a menu item for fans to order. It was the first time since 1992 that the brand had featured a celebrity meal when they featured the iconic Michael Jordan’s favorite items. Now they’re at it again.

On April 19, McDonald’s revealed they were going global with their celebrity signature orders and featuring none other than the K-pop phenoms BTS. On May 26, McDonald’s launched the BTS Meal as their first celebrity meal collaboration available worldwide.

Filtering the McDonald’s conversation over the past month just for brand mentions that only include BTS reveals quite a spike in mentions on launch day. Net sentiment over the collab is super high at 74%, with a jaw-dropping six billion potential impressions over the 30-day span – and that’s just in English.

BTS-McDonalds-collaboration

The duo isn’t done yet, however. On June 16, two new merchandise collections were announced featuring branded apparel and items such as tote bags, keyrings, and other accessories that play off McDonald’s themed art by the band, as well as items inspired by the band’s hit song ‘Butter.’

McDonald’s is showing the world what happens when two industry behemoths join forces to get a conversation going. Who knows what McDonald’s has in store next, but they’ve definitely taken their social media influencer game into the stratosphere.

Tiffany & Co. and Rosé of Blackpink

Social media has made the world a smaller place. And that phenomenon is why many brands are looking for more diverse social media influencers capable of resonating with fans across the globe. That is one reason why brands have leaned heavily into K-pop stars to align their products with their massive fan bases.

BTS and the all-female supergroup Blackpink stand out at the top of the ever-expanding world of K-pop and exert enormous influence worldwide. Both groups have entered into partnerships with various brands over the years, and even the members have racked up multitudes of collaborations with top brands.

Individual Blackpink members have made ambassador deals with brands like Saint Laurent, Celine, Chanel, and Dior, to name a few. And recently, Blackpink singer Rosé signed on as a brand ambassador for the global luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. as the face of their 2021 Tiffany HardWear digital campaign.

The campaign had its global debut April 23 on Tiffany’s social media channels, where the partnership with Rosé brought a massive increase in traction. As you can see below, their behind-the-scenes Instagram post featuring the singer had over a half million views.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Tiffany & Co. (@tiffanyandco)

With the global appeal, this is the reason brands are seeking out deals with social media influencers of this caliber to raise brand awareness to new audiences.

Samsung and Style It Pretty Home

Not every brand partnership has to be with mega influencers like Blackpink and BTS. Smaller and niche influencers have proven their value time and time again for brands looking to directly target a particular audience.

Social media influencers with massive follower counts are great for spreading the word fast to a broad audience. However, if your product has a very specific use, then a smaller influencer whose audience has a vested interest in what you have to offer will be just the ticket.

Take Samsung, for example. They are a household name for electronics for sure, but perhaps not everybody knows that they are into the smart appliance game as well. Smart appliances are gaining massive popularity along with everything IoT. And as we saw at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) back in January, Samsung is a heavyweight innovator in the space.

Here, we can see Samsung getting the word out about its smart gas range with a mid-tier social media influencer specializing in DIY home projects. They only have 141k followers, but they’ve built a relationship with them as they’ve followed along their home renovation journey. That said, Samsung already knows that their products will be well received by an enthusiastic audience that trusts the content creator. It’s a win for sure!

 

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A post shared by Zenia Olivares (@styleitprettyhome)

L’Oréal and Falcopunch

Instagram remains the go-to platform for the lion’s share of influencer marketing, but brands have taken notice of TikTok’s blistering rise in popularity over the last couple of years. The platform is insanely popular with the Gen Z crowd making it a no-brainer for brands looking to capture the attention of a younger audience.

The platform is a hit for collaborative content, hashtag challenges, and general social media influencer marketing. Back in 2019, BMW promoted the release of its new 1 Series sedan with a Tik Tok social media marketing campaign using the #THE1challenge hashtag.

BMW used three notable TikTok social media influencers including Falcopunch, whose video for the challenge garnered nearly a quarter of a million likes. The brand’s hashtag saw upwards of six million views.

Fast forward to today, and L’Oréal has tapped Falcopunch to promote their Men Expert line of skincare products to his over ten million followers. L’Oréal knows that men’s skincare regimens aren’t garnering the giggles that they did just a few short years ago. And where else should a brand go to promote a new way of thinking for the next generation than TikTok?

It’s super smart thinking on L’Oréal’s part and is sure to move the needle in the right direction.

@falcopunchI show you my morning routine with @lorealmen #purecarbon #antipickel #30dayschallenge *anzeige♬ original sound – Falco

Brand Opportunities with Next-Gen Social Media Influencers

Of course, the point of social media listening and data analytics is to help brands stay on the cutting edge of emerging trends. So, what’s next for social media influencers?

What if we told you that CGI-based social media influencers presented the same opportunities for brands that real-life influencers do? Well, they’re here, and they do.

Lil Miquela’s Instagram page boasts a jaw-dropping three million followers and a ton of branded content. That’s not bad for a self-proclaimed “change-seeking robot.” Miquela was the brainchild of Brud, a media company specializing in AI and robotics. Her Instagram feed was started back in 2016, and her follower count has grown exponentially since then.

The crazy thing is … she has a life and a storyline that her followers actively engage with – and so do brands. She’s done campaigns for Calvin Klein and even promoted Samsung’s Galaxy Z flip-phone.

The clothing, locations, people, and accessories that accompany her posts are real and offer brands the ability to showcase their products in her feed. While she’s extremely lifelike in appearance, you can tell that she’s computer-generated.

However, that doesn’t seem to matter too much to her legion of followers and the brands that have engaged with her in a social media influencer capacity. And most of her posts on Instagram consist of several pictures, including links to the brands featured in her clothing and accessories.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Miquela (@lilmiquela)

Of course, social media and CGI would inevitably collide to bring us artificial social media influencers. It was only a matter of time. The thing is, though – it works. Will it overtake real-life social media influencers? Probably not, but there’s no reason brands should overlook them as more come on the scene.

After all, all that matters here is that your brand is using social media listening to identify your target audiences and pursuing relationships with the social media influencers that are actively engaging them – real or otherwise.

Is your brand crushing it with social media influencer marketing? Social listening is the key to forward momentum with ever-changing consumer perception. Reach out for a demo, and we’ll put world-class social media listening tools at your fingertips, so your influencer marketing game is on lock.

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